AMS Climate Studies is an introductory climate science course provided by the American Meteorological Society to undergraduate institutions for local offering. The course is prepared by meteorologists and climatologists nationally recognized in atmospheric science education. Development for this course was supported, in part, by NASA. Students are introduced to the many elements of Earth's climate system.

How can the course be implemented?

  • As a NEW institutional course offering.
  • To REVISE an existing course at your institution.
  • To EXPAND an existing course by adding a laboratory component.
  • As the FOCUS of an online course or as individual directed study.

Who can offer the course?

AMS Climate Studies can be offered by experienced science faculty or those new to teaching climatology. We have large numbers of atmospheric scientists, geographers, geologists, and physicists successfully offering the course, as well as those from disciplines such as engineering and chemistry.

During course implementation and instruction, collegial assistance is available from faculty members who have already offered AMS Climate Studies. Also, AMS science educators will answer any questions on aspects of course delivery and content. This course enables faculty members to expand and/or update their curriculum and join the ranks of colleagues teaching with the latest technology.

What are the course components?

Textbook - The 14-chapter Our Changing Climate: Introduction to Climate Science (© 2014) text covers the fundamental principles in understanding Earth's climate system as a whole. The primary author of the text is Dr. Chad M. Kauffman (California University of Pennsylvania). The textbook contains end-of-chapter Review and Critical Thinking Questions.

Manual - A set of student learning investigations is coordinated with the text chapters. Investigations lead the student through analysis and interpretation of current climatological data. Weekly Current Climate Studies, posted to the RealTime Climate Portal during fall and spring semesters, may be used to reinforce Manual investigations using more current climate data and information.

RealTime Climate Portal - The Portal delivers Weekly Climate News, current climate data, and Current Climate Studies in real time during the fall and spring semesters and as archived material throughout the year. To access the Portal, aLogin ID and Password are required by all licensed students and faculty.

Current Climate Studies - Challenging lab activities with real-time excitement! Course investigations are self-contained in the Investigations Manual or expanded on with Current Climate Studies delivered on the course website. Current Climate Studies investigations discuss on important concepts using current or recent climate data and are delivered on a weekly schedule.

Faculty Resources - Available on the faculty website, the Faculty Resources include the faculty guide, PowerPoints, textbook images, and manual questions, textbook chapter questions, as well as chapter progress and test bank keys, all compatible with learning management systems. 

When are the real-time course components delivered?

The real-world case studies in the Investigations Manual allow the combination of Manual and Textbook to function as a full course. Many institutions offering the course during fall and spring semesters use the Current Climate Studies on the RealTime Climate Portal to expand on important concepts.

Current Climate Studies are posted by nine Eastern Time on Mondays. During fall and spring semesters, Current Climate Studies accumulate in the Archive of the RealTime Climate Portal as the semester progresses.To further assist with aligning college and AMS delivery schedules, Current Climate Studies 1-3 will be posted on August 15. CCS answer keys and Respondus-compatible files will be posted to the faculty website on the same schedule.

View the real-time course delivery schedule

How do I integrate this course with my Course Management System?

The questions and answers can be ported into your learning management system for automated scoring and immediate student feedback. This feature allows for full integration into an e-learning environment. We provide learning management system-compatible files in Respondus format, software for which many campuses are licensed.

Go to the Course Management System Integration page to learn about the easy three step process for porting our files into your system.

How do I host this course at my college?

If you would like to use the entire AMS Climate Studies course package, which includes the textbook, manual, and instructor access to the RealTime Weather Portal and Faculty Website, submit a Course License to the AMS Education Program. The Course License fee (from August 15th to August 14th) is $149 per institution, regardless of number of sections or number of students.

With an AMS Climate Studies license, your college receives:

  • AMS Climate Studies full course use for academic year
  • Textbook and Manual
  • AMS RealTime Climate Portal
  • AMS Weather Studies Faculty Website and Faculty Resource Material
  • Files Compatible with Course Management Systems

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at onlineclimate@ametsoc.org or 1-800-824-0405.